Belfast, Maine – Finding Our Voices, an exhibition featuring Patrisha McLean’s photographic portraits of 43 survivors of domestic violence in Maine, opens July 7 at the H. Allen and Sally Fernald Art Gallery at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast.

The exhibition, on display until October, is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. There will be an opening reception for the exhibit on Thursday, July 14 at the Hutchinson Center from 5-7 p.m. The community event, open to the public, will be an opportunity to connect with survivors of domestic violence, including some of the 43 survivors of the Finding Our Voices project.

The exhibition features framed color photographs by Patrisha McLean. McLean, a domestic abuse survivor, is also the founder and president of Finding Our Voices. Documentation of abuse suffered by women on the show, including custom power and control wheels, will be shown alongside their portraits. The exhibition is sponsored by Camden National Bank.

The survivors featured in this exhibit range in age from 18 to 82 and include an incarcerated woman, doctors, nurses, business owners and Governor Janet Mills, illustrating that domestic violence can happen to anyone and is everywhere .

“Enabling young people to recognize and talk about dating and intimate partner violence is essential for healthy relationships, and also for breaking the intergenerational cycle of violence,” says McLean. “I am grateful to everyone at the Hutchinson Center who brings this educational outreach to students of all ages.”

Various iterations of this project have been featured in and around Waldo County since its launch on Valentine’s Day 2019 at Camden Public Library, including a Belfast Pecha Kucha presentation and a Waldo County Breaks the Silence exhibit in June 2021 which lined the windows of Belfast City Hall. The exhibit was shown at the Center for the Holocaust and Human Rights in Augusta, Maine, the University of New England’s Biddeford campus, and community centers in North Haven and New England. ‘Islesboro.

Finding Our Voices’ award-winning educational outreach features posters from 43 survivors of domestic violence. The posters have been placed in downtown storefronts in more than 65 Maine towns over the past two years as well as in virtually every high school in Maine. The posters are in the locker rooms of every Goodwill in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and every family planning clinic in Maine. Through a collaboration with the Maine Mobile Health Program, survivor outreach reaches farmworker communities across the state.

For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Abby Spooner, [email protected] More information about the H. Allen and Sally Fernald Art Gallery at the Hutchinson Center and the Finding Our Voices exhibit is online.

About Finding Our Voices:

Finding Our Voices is a grassroots, survivor-powered nonprofit that brings together faces and voices to break the silence and cycle of domestic violence in Maine, and empower women and children to come out and stay safe. For more information, visit findourvoices.net.

About the Hutchinson Center:

The Hutchinson Center is an outreach center at the University of Maine at Orono that serves as an educational and cultural center for the Midcoast region. It is named after University of Maine President Emeritus Frederick E. Hutchinson. The Hutchinson Center’s mission is to expand access to University of Maine academic and non-degree programs and services, lifelong learning opportunities, and professional and career development experiences using innovative approaches that increase synergy between University of Maine system entities and University of Maine departments. and divisions, and that engage a larger Maine community. For more information about the UMaine Hutchinson Center, visit hutchinsoncenter.umaine.edu.

About the University of Maine:

The University of Maine, founded in Orono in 1865, is the state’s land, maritime, and space grant university, with a regional campus at the University of Maine at Machias. UMaine is located on Marsh Island in the homeland of the Penobscot Nation. UMaine Machias is located in the homeland of the Passamaquoddy Nation. As Maine’s flagship public university, UMaine has a statewide mission of education, research and economic development, and community service. UMaine is the only public research university in the state and one of the most comprehensive institutions of higher education in the Northeast. It attracts students from all 50 states and 81 countries. UMaine currently enrolls 11,989 undergraduate and graduate students, and UMaine Machias enrolls 747 undergraduate students. Our students have the opportunity to engage in groundbreaking research with world-class scholars. UMaine offers more than 100 degree programs through which students can earn a master’s, doctoral, or professional science master’s degree, as well as graduate certificates. UMaine Machias offers 18 degree programs. The university promotes environmental stewardship, with substantial campus-wide efforts to save energy, recycle, and meet green building standards in new construction. For more information about UMaine and UMaine Machias, visit umaine.edu and machias.edu.

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